Our greatest thanks to the many Qaluyaarmiut (Nelson Islanders) who share their stories in these pages. They are truly the authors of this website. It is their hope that both Yup'ik and non-Yup'ik readers will learn from their experiences and live better--and safer--lives. We are especially grateful to Simeon and Anna Agnus of Nightmute, Paul and Martina John and Lizzie Chimiugak of Toksook Bay, John Eric and Paul Tunuchuk of Chefornak, Elsie Tommy and Michael John of Newtok, and Susie Angaiak, Edward Hooper, and Tommy Hooper of Tununak. |
The Calista Elders Council (CEC), the primary heritage organization in southwest Alaska representing the region's elders, guided this project. The National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Polar Programs, funded our work as part of the Nelson Island Natural and Cultural History Project, carried out under NSF's Bering Ecosystem Study (BEST) (Grant Number 0611978, Publication Number BEST BSIERP 13). BEST is a multiyear, multiproject study begun in 2006 and involving more than 100 researchers in efforts to understand the dynamics of change in the eastern Bering Sea. Our Nelson Island project was the one BEST project that dealt with sociocultural issues. We especially thank our NSF program officers, Anna Kerttula de Echave and William Wiseman, for allowing us to share with our partners a nearshore Yup'ik perspective on the Bering Sea.
In addition to direct NSF support, this website was only possible thanks to the support of the data management team at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Earth Observing Laboratory, that NSF contracted to facilitate the larger BEST program. Although our Nelson Island project did not result in complex statistical information, we did produce abundant transcripts that NCAR enthusiastically helped us to archive and make available. Community members embraced the idea of using the internet to provide public access. Janet Scannell worked with CEC staff to develop this place-based website, including the location of more than 400 historic sites and geographic features as well as oral accounts relating directly to more than 80 place names
Elders always shared information in the Yup'ik language, and Alice Rearden did the lion's share of the transcription and translation, ably assisted by David Chanar and Marie Meade. Alice's commitment to accuracy and clarity and her knowledge of Yup'ik and English shine through these pages. Alice and I are both indebted to long-time collaborator Marie Meade for carefully reading and correcting the final text. Her years of experience give her a unique perspective on translation which she generously shared.
[Summary provided by the National Center for Atmospheric Research Earth Observing Laboratory.]